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Homemade dog treats: The perfect solution for all that zucchini

    Bella at Saltese Uplands Conservation Area

    I pulled my last bag of shredded zucchini out of the freezer this week.

    Homemade dog treats were on the agenda.

    That last bag of shredded zucchini came from last summer’s backyard garden..

    The land on which my house sits in Spokane Valley used to be farm land. When I dig into the ground to plant my gardens every spring, rocks — tons of rocks — come up to the surface.

    This area used to be known for its cantaloupes. Spokane Valley shipped cantaloupes out to the entire nation in the 1920s and ’30s, the practice only interrupted by the onset of the Second World War.

    (When I first moved here, I volunteered at the local history museum. I absorbed a LOT of random information.)

    It means I can grow most squash varieties like a mofo. To the point where I have more zucchini every summer than I know what to do with.

    Scratch that. I know what to do with it. Bella gets homemade dog treats.

    Bella’s homemade dog treats

    My seedlings for this year’s garden are ready to go in the ground. If Mother Nature would just cooperate and warm up! It’s been barely above freezing for the last week.

    The old wives’ tale around these parts is to wait until Mother’s Day or until you can’t see snow on Mica Peak. Whichever happens first.

    It will still be a good couple of months before I get full-grown zucchini ready for more homemade dog treats.

    In the meantime, Bella will have to suffer with this being the last batch.

    The baking of the treats

    Shortly after I moved here in 2015 my husband bought me one of these bad boys, thinking I would be a most excellent homemaker.

    kitchenaid mixer
    My KitchenAid mixer

    Ell. Oh. Ell.

    He had no idea.

    I pull it out every once in a while for Bella’s homemade dog treats and the odd batch of red velvet cupcakes. (They’re amazing.)

    To start, I take a cup of shredded zucchini:

    shredded zucchini

    Add a half cup of peanut butter, a half cup of almond flour (we think Bella is allergic to wheat-based flour) and some cinnamon for aromatics.

    Then I scoop the batter into these adorable silicone baking mats:

    And bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

    homemade dog treats with zucchini

    The ultimate question is “are my homemade dog treats any good?”

    I sampled the batter myself. I mean, peanut butter … how can you go wrong?

    And then I asked the expert:

    She seems to like them. I’ll take that as a five-star review.

    All around the circle

    Did you know that baking time varies with your altitude? That’s something I had to learn while living in Calgary. It can really mess with what you read in cookbooks!

    I love making homemade dog treats for Bella. It makes me feel a little bit closer to her and it lends to everything I’m learning by reading Forever Dog.

    Our pet photographers blog circle is focused this week on what we make for our pets. It’s a fun little sidestep away from dog photography for a week.

    I can’t wait to read this next one: Atlanta pet photographer, Courtney Bryson shares why she makes a fresh fillet of catfish for her dog Lira every single day – and other ways she spoils her dogs.

    When you get to the bottom of Courtney’s post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going to magical places like Minnesota, the DFW in Texas and Milan, Italy, until you find yourself back here to my homemade dog treats with homegrown zucchini.

    That’s when you know you’re home.

    Right where you belong. 


    Dogs. Adventure. Outdoors. These words set Angela's heart afire. Angela Schneider, an award-winning writer and dog photographer, documents the story of you and your dog and the adventures you take together. Your portraits will be a statement piece in your home, art that will make your friends and family beg to hear its story.

    10 thoughts on “Homemade dog treats: The perfect solution for all that zucchini”

    1. How awesome! I dream of having my own garden someday. But, honestly, I don’t think that’s in the cards for me.

      Oh Bella, I feel you on the wheat flour. Good thing there are alternatives!

      1. If I could figure out the right way to bake human goodies with alternative flours, I would abandon wheat flour too. The absorption rates get tricky with each different type, though, and everything I’ve tried has turned out underwhelmingly.

    2. Who knew Spokane Valley was a leader in cantaloupes? We all do now! That’s super cool random info to know!

      Those treats do look rather tasty, plus those silicone molds are quite adorable!

    3. Sounds like a great idea – I don’t know if my girls like any type of squash, would have to try that out but they love peanut butter! Here, once it is mid-March, we start planting….in another 6 weeks it’s usually “summer” and not to much can be grown. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Zucchini is super good for your pups! It is rich in vitamins A, C, B6, and K, which are beneficial for vision, skin, coat, bone and cartilage growth, metabolism and blood-clotting.

    4. Being from New England, you learned to do a LOT with zucchini because every back yard garden was full of it. To this day, zucchini bread is a favorite of mine as is zucchini chocolate cake. Now I have to get them from our local Farmers Market, but I’m going to add this to my “things to do with zucchini” list after a summer visit to the market (and I love how gentle Bella takes it from you – Rooney is gentle like that, Ginger is eager, but respectful, Gracie will take off your finger to the 2nd knuckle if you’re not careful).

      1. We taught Bella the word “gentle” for when she’s taking food from our hands. She needs a reminder sometimes but otherwise she’s Little Miss Perfect.

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